In one of the world’s most Instagrammed places, filled with cameras of all shapes and sizes, Window to the Heart, by ArandaLasch + Marcelo Coelho with Formlabs, places the world’s largest lens in the center of Times Square. The 12 foot in diameter Fresnel lens, segmented into 36 concentric rings, was designed with 3D-printing manufacturer Formlabs and 3D-printed specifically to distort and capture the image of Times Square, optically bending light – and attention – to the heart-shaped window at its center. Visitors can look through the window or photograph themselves within it, completing the loop between the lens of the eye and the lens of the camera.
Fresnel lens generation
Rather than using the traditional lens-making methods of casting, cutting, and repeatedly polishing glass, Window to the Heart will leverage the latest advances in design, materials, and fabrication to craft something that was previously unattainable. Each lens segment is 3D-printed at a high resolution by Formlabs using clear resin, a material capable of the unique surface quality and clarity required by optical elements. With the lens made entirely from a 3D-printed material instead of glass, Window to the Heart upends the centuries-old methods of lens-making to invite individuals to reimagine how they see and photograph the world.
Times Square is a symbol for how we experience our world. It is a physical manifestation of our culture, one dispersed and absorbed through cameras and screens. And in this culture, to fall in love you must first fall through a lens.